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Building and maintaining healthy relationships

6-minute read

Key facts

  • Healthy relationships improve your life and make you feel happier.
  • Healthy relationships take time to build and need work to keep them healthy.
  • Respect, trust, honesty and emotional support are signs of a healthy relationship.
  • It is normal to have ups and downs in a relationship.
  • A relationship is not healthy if it is abusive or violent.

What is a healthy relationship?

Healthy relationships are good for you. Supportive and loving relationships are more likely to make you feel happy and satisfied. A healthy relationship with your partner and family members can improve your life, wellbeing and make everyone feel good about themselves.

Healthy relationships don't happen on their own. They take time to build and need work to keep them healthy. The more positive effort you put into a relationship, the healthier it should be.

What are the signs of a healthy relationship?

People in healthy relationships love and support each other. They help each other practically, as well as emotionally. They are there for each other in the good times as well as the bad times.

Healthy relationships are commonly based on:

What are the benefits of healthy relationships?

People who have healthy relationships are more likely to feel happy and satisfied with their lives. They are less likely to have physical and mental health problems.

Healthy relationships can:

What is communication in a healthy relationship?

People who are in a healthy relationship talk and listen to each other regularly and effectively.

Misunderstandings can happen, and that can lead to people being upset, hurt or confused.

When communicating make sure you:

Loving each other doesn't necessarily mean you know what the other person is thinking or that you will be able to communicate well.

To have more open communication in your relationship you can:

Communication is not just talking. Non-verbal communication, including your posture, tone of voice and facial expressions can tell the other person how you feel.

Non-verbal communication can even be stronger than what you're saying, if your behaviour doesn't match your words.

How can I maintain healthy relationships?

Maintaining healthy relationships is important and takes time and commitment. No relationship is perfect, but it is important that relationships brings you more happiness than stress.

Here are some tips for a healthy relationship.

Are you having relationship issues?

It is normal to have ups and downs in a relationship. It is also normal to have different opinions. Both relationships and people change over time.

Your relationship is an unhealthy relationship if one partner has more power than another, or if one partner is abusive or violent.

When a relationship ends

The end of a relationship can be a very painful time. It may take 2 years or more for people whose long-term relationship has ended to recover and to put their lives together again. Some people develop serious health and emotional problems during this time.

If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger of hurting themselves or others, call triple zero (000).

Resources and support

If you would like to talk to someone about your relationship, here are some organisations that can help:

Looking for information for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people?

Relationship Australia offers Aboriginal community support.

Do you prefer to read in languages other than English?

Peace multicultural services have resources and support for people from diverse language and cultural backgrounds to lead healthy lives.

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